Tanzania is a stable democracy in East Africa, home to 54 million people and a rapidly growing economy. Despite concerns over the creeping authoritarianism of President John Mafuguli, Tanzania is experiencing an economic boom with 7 percent GDP growth registered in 2016. Through investments in infrastructure and energy projects, Tanzania’s government hopes to pull millions out of poverty. Here are five development projects in Tanzania:
Kikonge Dam and Hydropower Project
The African Development Bank’s African Water Facility (AWF) is providing Tanzania with a 2 million euro grant for a feasibility study for a multipurpose energy project in Kikonge, in the southwest of the country. The Kikonge dam, irrigation, and hydropower project would contribute to agricultural development in the region and improve water supply to local communities. Kikonge would boost Tanzania’s hydropower supply by 53 percent, allowing the government to invest in further development projects in Tanzania.
World Bank’s Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Program
The World Bank is financing a project that will connect 2.5 million poor Tanzanian households to the national electricity grid by 2021. The Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Program will also build the country’s renewable energy capacity and contribute to the government’s energy development projects in Tanzania. “Access to electricity is critical to extend economic opportunities and reduce poverty,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania.
Nordic Development Fund’s Sustainable Charcoal Business Development Fund
The Sustainable Charcoal Business Development Fund seeks to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in Tanzania, providing sustainable charcoal for businesses as an alternative to unsustainable wood. The Nordic Development Fund’s project has succeeded in reducing deforestation and mitigating emissions, as well as contributing to local and small business development projects in Tanzania.
Dar-es-Salaam Maritime Gateway Project
The International Development Association is backing the $345 million Dar-Es-Salaam Maritime Gateway Project that will refurbish and upgrade the port of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s coastal former capital and largest city. The port is a hub for regional trade, with about 35 percent of its cargo going to and from landlocked neighbors in south and east Africa. As the volume of trade is set to double by 2030, the project will expand and deepen the port’s berths as well as improving its rail and transport links to support other development projects in Tanzania. “Improvement of the port’s infrastructure is long overdue,” said Deusdedit Kakoko, Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority.
USAID’s Tusome Pamoja (Let’s Read Together) Project
USAID partners with the Tanzanian government in its flagship education project, Tusome Pamoja, or Let’s Read Together in Kiswahili, Tanzania’s most-spoken language. Launched in 2016, the project aims for improved student outcomes in Kiswahili for grades one through four in primary school, working with teachers and providing materials for students, teachers, and all stakeholders. Over five years, Tusome Pamoja seeks to reach around 1.4 million children from 3,000 elementary schools across Tanzania.
As Tanzania seeks outside investment to build newer infrastructure in its ports and cities, the government is also investing in other development projects in Tanzania targeting education, energy, and deforestation. Investments in renewable energy and electrification will connect more Tanzanians to the grid and could help the country reduce poverty and boost development beyond its impressive economic growth rate.
– Giacomo Tognini